Sometimes it feels like yesterday. Sometimes it feels like it was 50 years ago. Regardless, I can remember everything about that day. 5 years ago today was the day you took your last breath. It was unexpected and unfair and basically the worst thing that has ever happened to our family. 46 years old is too young to die.
But you already know all of that. I am writing to you because it has been 5 years and I am still afraid of living life without you. It sounds stupid, I guess, because here we are. Life must go on. When someone dies, it doesn’t give you an excuse to shut down. You have to go back to work or school or whatever. You have to eat and bathe and just go back to “normal.” But I don’t even think that is possible. What is normal? When five years later it still feels like everything is a mess. It still feels like we are picking up pieces of a life that doesn’t even feel real anymore.
A lot has changed since you left and at every major moment I stop and think, “What would Dad say if he were here?” Would you be happy? Or sad? Or mad at something one of us has done? Definitely joking no matter what is going on. I can only imagine….I imagine the cheesy grin on your face as I walked toward the stage to get my college diplomas. Or the laughs we would share as I told you the horror stories of my first year of teaching. I imagine the fun you would have had as you watched your sons get married. The advice you would have for each of them. I imagine watching you and mom together, celebrating thirty years of marriage. Mostly, I imagine how different our family get-togethers would be if you were sitting right there with us.
I know that we will see each other again some day, so until then we have to keep moving. We have to keep experiencing. We have to keep remembering you. I will continue to tell my students about you and one day my children will know all about their goofy Papaw. It doesn’t feel like it’s enough. But I guess that is what your death brought us. A void. Life will never be enough without you living here with us.
I can’t say it enough, I miss you. When things were dark, it was you who fixed them. You could literally make me feel better no matter what I was going through. You were our biggest supporter. Most of all I miss your jokes. You could make anyone laugh. When I tell someone about you, thats what I say. He was the funniest Army guy you would ever meet. I’d sure give a lot just to hear you tell another story, even if I had already heard it a million times. Really, I just miss you. I’ll miss you every day of forever. Keep watching over us. And keep visiting me in my dreams.
“They say now you’re in a better place, and I would be too if I could see your face. You should be here.”
Until next time…
Lots of love,
Kristin, Sis, Sister Rose (Aka your perfect child)